total of 133 lawyers have friday been called to the Bar in a ceremony held at the Judiciary Headquarters in Kampala and presided over by the Chief Registrar of Courts H/W Sarah Langa Siu.
The event conducted in two shifts in observance with Covid-19 precautions involved the lawyers registering their names into the book of advocates and issuance to them of practicing certificates effectively qualifying them to appear before and address Court on behalf of their clients, first in the Magistrates Courts and nine months later, in the High Court.
Speaking at the ceremony, H/W Sarah Langa Siu cautioned the new advocates against unethical practices in the name of attaining quick riches noting that this has tainted the image of the legal profession. Langa implored the lawyers to always be prepared in the handling of client matters and to espouse integrity, professionalism and transparency.
” Please be patient especially in accumulation of wealth. You can not want to be at the same level or drive the same car with an advocate who has practiced for thirty years. If you try, it means you will cut corners or engage in unethical practices” Langa said.
H/W Sarah Langa Siu further asked the new advocates to support the Judiciary in dealing with case backlog by embracing Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). She called upon the lawyers to support the greater cause of justice in their communities.
” As an agent of your client, you are expected to defend and protect the interests of your client. But in defending your client, as an advocate you should never subvert the cause of justice to either promote or protect the client’s interests.” Langa said.
” An advocate is like a high priest in the temple of justice and should always be guided by what is just and fair in representing the best interests of the client. In case you find that your duty to court is in conflict with your client’s interests, you are advised to either decline representation of this client or boldly tell him or her because there are no short cuts in this duty ”
Langa also called upon the new leadership of the Uganda Law Society (ULS) to put in mechanisms to facilitate mentorship of the new advocates ” so that senior advocates walk the journey of the profession with the young lawyers.”
On her part, Uganda Law Society president Ms Pheona Nabaasa Wall asked the newly enrolled advocates to exploit opportunities created by ULS initiatives including the Legal Aid project, Pro Bono scheme, and the Duty Counsel scheme to facilitate access to Justice to the vulnerable and marginalised in the community and gain legal expertise while at it.
Wall further cautioned the lawyers against laxity and implored them to continue working hard. ” Despite having reached this far in your career, I implore you to remain teachable. The truth is that having such a qualification neither means your lives are figured out nor are you infallible.” Pheona Wall said.